My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 (2012)
COMPANY: POP Films/MTV
RUNTIME: 84 mins
FORMAT: MoD DVD
PLOT: Having endured the torment of high school, survived the bloodbath at the Rollerdome, and then confronted her serial killer father at the Boneyard - ending his reign of terror once and for all - Skye Rotter is ready to break free of "Psycho Skye" and head to college for a new life. But before Skye can truly escape her dark past, there's still one last party she has to attend - her estranged sister Alex is having her Sweet 16, and someone has made certain the Lord of the Rink's bloody legacy lives on. One way or another, the party will end here.
REVIEW: Putting in the disc for My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 was a bit bittersweet for me; On the one hand, with this comes the end of my one-a-night Super Psycho Sweet 16 marathon which I've been really enjoying and having a lot of fun with. On the other hand, knowing how much I enjoyed My Super Psycho Sweet 16, and even despite some flaws present in My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2 I still enjoyed that one quite a bit, I've been really anxious to find out how everything finally plays out and comes together in this explosive final entry of the Super Psycho Sweet 16 trilogy.
My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 picks up two years after the end of the previous movie and Skye, finally having moved on and living a free life now that her psychopathic father is finally dead for good (i.e., see the second movie), is set to go off to university with her new friend, Sienna. While on the road, they get a call from Skye's younger sister (first time Skye has heard from her since shortly after the events of the second movie, despite Skye's numerous attempts to get in touch), and she's inviting them to stop by her country mansion on their way, to celebrate her Sweet 16. Skye reluctantly accepts, feeling really uneasy with the whole thing but after all, she is Alex's last remaining family. What Skye doesn't realize however, is that somebody plans to use Alex's Sweet 16th birthday bash as a means to carry on Charlie Rotter's sick legeacy of terror.
Now, to start things off with, I do have a bit of an issue with this plot – really, it's only a minor nitpick but it did stand out enough to me to totally take me out of the movie doe a bit: Are we seriously supposed to believe that Alex is only turning 16 years old just now? Skye turned 16 in the previous movie, and now she's going away to university so, at the very least Skye has to be 18 now (possibly even 19, depending on exactly when her birthday falls), which means that in order for Alex to be turning 16 in this movie, she had to be (at the absolute oldest) 14 in the previous movie, again with room for her to have been even younger then that. I'm sorry, but there is no way she was 14 or younger in Part 2, not with some of the things she did or the way the character was portrayed as (same goes for her friends, at that). Not to mention the actress herself looks to be in her late 20's as-is.
That pretty annoying nit-pick aside though, I actually really enjoyed the plot of this one and the setting itself was a much-welcomed change for the series. While I never really touched on it in my review for that one, Part 2's setting was pretty much just a carbon copy of the first movie's, where-as here it's completely different, giving us a fresh new location, complete with more of a variety of visual sets instead of just going back over the same basic locations and sets that the previous movies had – we have the mansion itself, filled with all sorts of different style rooms to provide great horror movie atmosphere (seriously, that one Study with all the poached animals – Creepy), but in addition to the house itself, we also get to have some good stalking scenes in the areas surrounding the outside of the mansion, such as the mist-filled forest in the pouring rain. After two movies of basically the exact same kind of locale, this one really needed to take place somewhere different to keep things fresh, and I'm so happy that it did exactly that. One scene in particular really stood out to me, on a visual level, and will probably go down as one of the most memorable images of the entire series for me – One of the characters are in the above-mentioned creepy Study filled with poached animals and animal heads stuck on the walls, being stalked and toyed with by the killer while the house's security alarm is going off and security lights are flashing like a disco ball. On purely a visually-pleasing angle, that scene was quite spine-tingling and made me really excited to see what other awesome scenes awaited in the confines of the remainder of the movie (Spoiler: I was not disappointed).
Along with the location setting, one other major aspect had to be changed up from how it was in the previous two; the killer had to be a whole new ballgame in this entry, since Skye's psychotic father, Charlie Rotter, died for good at the hands of Skye during the climax of the previous movie. Essentially, the identity of the killer had a complete clean slate this go-around, which means that you would expect the killer's identity to be a secret and be more like a classic Whodunnit-style of teen slasher, where we know the killer is one of the main characters but we don't know which one for sure. Sadly, that's not exactly the case. That entire angle gets dropped really early on, when they reveal who the killer is during the very first chase and kill scene. On top of that, in the first half hour leading up to that moment, it was really easy to guess who the killer would turn out to be because the movie doesn't make any effort to try to keep it secret – all the characters find this other character really creepy and weird and they feel uncomfortable around him, and that's exactly who the killer turns out to be. Even this person's reasoning as to why they're doing all of this was extremely weak and pretty uninspiring, and came across as a last minute addition. Adding to that, much like with the second movie, the killer here doesn't really wear any sort of costume at all – just their regular clothes and not much more. In one scene there is a nice little nod to the King mask that Charlie Rotter used to wear, but it has no impact on anything in the movie other then to be a nice little wink to the previous entries for a couple seconds. What I did like about this killer though, is that where-as Charlie Rotter just sneaked up and attacked, this killer likes to taunt and play with his victims a bit first, before moving in for the death blow. For example, the killer here has total control of the house's security features, such as the alarms, the cameras, the speakers, and even the electronically-controlled doors, and he (or she, but I'll stick with 'he' for sake of having to define a gender for easier writing) uses all of those to great mental-torture of his potential victims. He's even able to use this system to lock people in various rooms, or even open up certain pathways through the house that leads one of them into a trap. For all my misgivings when it comes to the identity and reasoning of this killer, I really do love his style here, which of course wouldn't have been as entertaining to watch had it not been for the excellent new location as well.
Unfortunately, for a third and final movie in a horror series, the body count is disappointingly low. The previous two movies had between eight and ten deaths each, where-as this one had only four (five if you want to count the killer's death as well), with one character seemingly coming back from the dead with no explanation, for the typical happy 'Let's laugh together as we walk away, because we survived this mess' ending. With that said, they make up for the lack of deaths by making them much more brutal then we've gotten in most cases with the other two movies – I don't think there's a single person who dies instantly in this movie, but instead has to suffer for a minute or two, gurgling blood up from a slit throat or stumbling around with their head half-bashed in, or unsuccessfully trying to stop their guts from spilling out, before their life ultimately leaves them. Much like each of the other entries in the series, Part 3 certainly does not hold back in the gore department, even though it has a much lower body count.
As for these victims (or would-be victims in a couple cases), to start off with there's the character of Alex Bell, Skye's younger sister, returning from the second movie. As seen at the end of Part 2, she still holds quite a bit of resentment towards Skye for the events that transpired and led to her friends and entire family being murdered. Sure, it wasn't Skye herself who killed them, but she still blames Skye for having been the reason that Charlie Rotter showed up to begin with, and since he's dead now, Alex needs somebody to blame (remember, as established in the previous movie, she has major mental issues that leads to her having anger problems and and she gets emotional very easy, so she isn't always the most reasonable of people). With all that said, she's working hard with her psychiatrist to get over all that, and she's willing to attempt to patch things up with Skye, thus leading her to invite her out of the blue to her Sweet 16 birthday party, though most of her newer friends (much like her previous friends) don't really think much of Skye, and have no problems letting her know that. Just like with the second movie, none of these side character friends really get any characterization and are just cardboard cutout characters and in the movie purely for one thing – to die a gruesome death at the hands of the killer. All of these side characters are acted decently enough, but none of them are really all that outstanding either. Passable at best, really. Even Kirsten Prout as Alex continues to be a rather low spot in the line-up of actors, continuing her so-so performance from the second movie. She has a few moments of really good acting, but for the most part it's more of the same from what she turned in for the previous movie.
The two shining stars this time around are Jillian Rose Reed as Skye's new friend Sienna, and of course Lauren McKnight as Skye continues to impress and own every scene of the movie that she's in – seriously, why she's not getting more movie roles, and bigger movie roles at that, is far beyond me. Even in this entry, where she has to play her character a bit different then at any time up to this point, she still steals the show; This version of Skye is an ass-kicker, through and through. As for her new friend Sienna...well she's both instantly annoying and lovable all at once. In any lesser hands, the character would have just been annoying and that's it, but thankfully they gave the role to an actress like Jillian Rose Reed who single-handily makes an annoying character simply a joy to watch, as her portrayal of her is just filled with so much cuteness and entertainment. Out of all the characters in the movie, other then Skye herself, this was the one I was really hoping to not have to see a death scene for. However, as things tend to go in these kinds of movies, it rarely pays to be the best friend of the lead girl.
I suppose by this point you may be wondering about Brigg, Skye's love interest from the previous two movies. Well, he is here, and him and Skye are indeed still together...but he's been reduced to a cameo role. He's in the first couple minutes of the movie via a webcam chat that Skye has with him before she heads off to university, and then he shows up at the very end again for a minute, and that's the extent of his character here. I know he had a smaller role in Part 2 then he had in the first movie, and he may not be the most engaging or deep character in the series, but his lack of presence in the movie was certainly felt while watching, making it feel like the movie was missing just that little something that you can't quite place your finger on at the time. As it turned out, the actor that plays him, Chris Zylka, has since become a genuine movie and TV star during the time between the second movie and this one, so I can understand not being able to really get him back for anything more then a cameo, but it still would have been nice, especially where this is supposed to be the final movie of the series.
You don't really get too much time to lament about Brigg's absence though. You see, the first movie had a slow build to it, but it wisely used that time to set up the characters, the second movie had an even slower build and did not bother to use that to set up any of the new characters, save for one or two, and thus the movie felt unnecessarily slow for the first bit, but for this movie takes the route that I prefer – if you're not going to bother using the slower pace to help give the new characters any bit of characterization and make us care about them, then don't bother having a slow pace to begin with. It takes a few moments to bring us up to speed as to where Skye and Alex are with their lives now, and then it quickly jumps right into the thick of the plot and then moves at lightning speed and doesn't let up until the end; this movie was an hour and a half but it just zoomed right by so fast that it was over before I knew it, and it felt like only 40 minutes or so had passed. Due to that, any parts where I felt the movie fumbled the ball a bit (i.e. No Brigg, lack of death scenes, 'meh' acting, ect), were not given much time to really stick in my mind before something really awesome was happening that made me forget all about those things (for example the really brutal, yet very awesome, climatic fight).
Now, one thing this series has done really well with in the past, are surprising last-minute twists. This movie, being the final entry, really doesn't have one of those, per sey. It does, however, have a twist midway through. Even though it's painfully predictable for anybody who's a fan of the series, it's still a welcomed twist because up to that point I was getting a bit worried that they were maybe going to ignore an aspect that they started to set up in a previous entry, but luckily that turned out to not be the case and they were saving its continuation for the second half of this movie. As I said, easy to see coming from a mile away, but I'd rather that then them just decide to drop that part of the story, so really, there was no way they could have pulled that off and still manage to keep it a surprise.
While neither of the sequels quite reached the greatness of the first movie, both of them put up a really commendable effort, and this one did come pretty close at times. With just a few slight changes here and there, this could have easily been just as good, if not better, then the first. As it stands, it's still a solid second-place, and an excellent conclusion to the trilogy...though it does leave things off in such a way so that if they decide they want to continue it down the road a ways, the door is left slightly ajar for them.
8/10 rooms in the Psych Ward